Are you still looking for your Halloween costume? You’re not alone. The National Retail Federation reports that, of those dressing up for Halloween, 25% wait until the last minute to get their Halloween costumes. If you’re still looking for your costume, and looking to save money, here are a few tips that might help.
Over the past four years, we have used all of these methods to get Little Stapler’s Halloween costume, and paid as little as $0 up to $25.
How to Save Money on Costumes
Start a Halloween Costume Exchange: If you know parents of children who are older and younger than yours, start an email chain or Facebook group to rally them together for an exchange. Sell last year’s costume and find this year’s costume. We got Little Stapler’s very first Halloween costume this way, for $5.
Send a request to your favorite listserv or on Facebook: If you’re a member of an online group that includes other parents (and you feel comfortable doing this), just put your request out there. Maybe someone has a size 3T dinosaur costume that they’re happy to lend or sell to you. This is the method that worked for us this year — a friend lent us her son’s astronaut suit, and we are making a paper mache helmet to complete the look.
Shop a Consignment Sale or Store: If you’re hoping to get a costume at a kids’ consignment sale, get there as soon as possible and make a bee-line to the costume rack so you can get the pick of the litter. We bought two of Little Stapler’s costumes at consignment sales, for $8 and $12, respectively.
Shop on ebay and craigslist: This is not the least expensive option, but a used costume on ebay or craigslist will likely cost less than buying it at a retail store. Just beware of the shipping costs if you buy on ebay.
Buy online with a coupon and cashback: If you have to buy a new retail costume, take advantage of the free expedited shipping that will be offered as Halloween gets closer. Also, be sure to go through your favorite cashback website to make sure you save every last cent. I like ebates, TopCashBack, and ShopAtHome. If this is your first time using one of these cashback sites, you may also be eligible for a first-timers’ bonus. Cha-ching!
Resell: Don’t forget to close the loop on your savings, and sell your used costume to a consignment store, at a consignment sale, on ebay or craigslist, or post it to your favorite listserv next September. If you’re listing it online, be sure to include photos and sizing info. We resold two of Little Stapler’s costumes, for the same price we paid for them. I’m keeping his last two costumes, though, just in case his little brother wants to wear them.
Buy after Halloween for next year: This is hardly an option for the procrastinators, and typically only works for your littlest monsters, before they have a preference for their costume. But, it’s still a great way to save up to 70% on a costume for the next year. Use a growth chart to help estimate your little one’s size in 12 months.
What are you (or your little ones) dressing up as for Halloween this year?